From the beginning, Marsha Kartzman approached art in an unconventional way; her path was not a straight line. Marsha had studied the Chinese language in college and as part of her studies, she learned Chinese calligraphy. Using the brush to make the characters fascinated her much more than learning Chinese. She was much more interested in the brush than the characters. After college, this led Marsha to continue with calligraphy and brush painting and was fortunate to find a teacher from the Museum School in Boston who was devoted to this art form and taught her the fundamentals of Sumi-E painting. During these lessons, Marsha gradually recognized that making art was meant to be her life’s work. Her teacher was the late painter Judith Liniado, who was willing to expand these lessons. It was Judy who gave Marsha the grounding in the fundamentals of drawing and painting; the tools necessary to make art. She gave her a rich appreciation and respect for materials and methods that has never left. After these beginnings, Marsha continued her studies at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design where her serious study and development as an artist took place. With these studies, Marsha began serious experimentation and search for her way of expressing her authentic self through the work. One day in a painting class, Marsha has an instructor who said, “I have been watching you and I realize that you see the world abstractly.” This statement fundamentally changed how she was to make art from that point forward. Marsha could use her innate way of seeing the world as the means of her creative expression. This instructor's statement guided Marsha and continues to sustain while she pushes the work forward. During this time, Marsha also began to more fully explore herfascination with mark making; a direct link back to her study of Chinese calligraphy.
Marsha was fortunate to meet the painter and printmaker, Gema Philips at a monotype workshop held at MassArt. When the workshop ended, Gema invited some participants to her studio to continue to make monotypes. For several years, a group of us gathered once a week to paint on glass, watch our work go through the big press and, most importantly, talk about art, artists, ideas, and life. Unbeknownst to Marsha, these weekly meetings of talking and making art were slowly changing how she saw my work; pushing it into new areas. She found myself taking new risks and begin to not only find her “voice”, but to feel comfortable with this inner voice. This experimentation never ends and continues to push Marsha towards new methods and materials in Her exploration and excavation of the creative process.